San Juan, Puerto Rico from Last-Minute Ideas for Your Spring Vacation
Last-Minute Ideas for Your Spring Vacation
Spring is upon us, and as the weather gets warmer and cities around the world start to bloom, it’s a great opportunity for a break. If you don’t have any vacation planned yet for this season, that doesn’t mean you can’t pull together a last-minute getaway.
Thanks to the fact that spring is shoulder season in many places, you’ll find great flight deals and hotel savings this time of year. Take advantage of the sun at one of the world’s best beaches or attend an outdoor festival in a colorful town. As long as you have the days off from work or school, you can still make a last-minute spring trip to one of these destinations.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is still rebuilding, so tourists are more than welcome as San Juan gets back on its feet. April and May are among the cheapest times to visit. New and old coexist in this city’s architecture, as well as in its culture. Hit the beach and enjoy the nightlife, as well as a growing arts scene, and make sure you don’t leave without trying the delicious local cuisine.
Las Vegas, Nevada
A pretty great weekend getaway all year round, Las Vegas is an underrated spring destination. You’ll have access to clubs that are open late and casinos open 24/7, as well as all-day pool parties at multiple resorts along the Strip. The weather is also fantastic this time of year, which makes Las Vegas paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Hamptons, New York
A popular destination for the rich and famous for decades, the Hamptons are a group of hamlets and villages that make up the South Fork of Long Island. The beach houses and country clubs here are quite exclusive, as well as very pricey, but if you can afford it, this locale provides some of the most beautiful seaside on the East Coast. You’ll also find plenty of art galleries in the area, as well as some of the nation’s best golf courses and top fine-dining restaurants. A popular destination for residents of nearby New York City, it’s best for a visit after the summer crowds have left or before they’ve arrived.
Miami Beach, Florida
Located on a barrier island east of Miami and Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach is home to a wonderful arts scene as well as the kind of beaches celebrities tend to frequent. Come during late March and early April, and you’ll be able to attend the Miami-Date County Fair and Exposition, one of the biggest and most successful fairs in the nation. Take an Art Deco walking tour or other local tours of the city and the surrounding Everglades.
Ireland is an affordable destination in terms of both time and price; it’s just a quick six- to seven-hour nonstop flight from the U.S. East Coast. Dublin is famous for being a city filled with culture, history, and some great nightlife, but the entire island nation has many magical spots from ruins to churches to distilleries to Instagram-worthy landscapes.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
A trip to Mackinac Island is like stepping into a history book. The island-wide motor vehicle ban enhances its Victorian charm, and it’s a good idea to bring a bicycle. Mackinac is a great place for biking, hiking, horse-riding, and paddling, and it’s also especially famous for its delicious fudge.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is most famous for its Mardi Gras celebrations, held for about two weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday, which makes it a lively place during the spring. Visit in late April and early May any year, and you can also attend the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Enjoy some great Cajun cuisine while you’re there, and hit up some world-famous bars. If you want more than just eating and drinking in the Big Easy, there’s also a wonderful art district, tours for lovers of history and literature, and activities such as urban kayaking.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Cape Cod is the kind of place that has offered inspiration to many literary giants, including Kurt Vonnegut, Henry David Thoreau, and Cape Cod natives Norman Mailer and Mercy Otis Warren. The peninsula is home to many cute villages, beaches, lighthouses, ports, and restaurants, and it’s also a great place to stay at a quaint bed and breakfast or go antiquing. A top East Coast weekend getaway for decades of tourists, most notably the Kennedys, popular activities include biking, hiking, camping, and all kinds of water sports.
Machu Picchu has risen to become a hugely popular destination, and indeed, the photogenic Sacred Valley where it’s located has graced many an Instagram feed. There’s a lot more this South American country has to offer, however, and must-sees include Trujillo, where you can learn about the Moche and Chimu — ancienct civilizations from even before the Inca — as well as Leymebamba, home to about 200 Incan mummies, and Chan Chan, the largest pre-Columbian settlement in South America and made entirely of adobe. Check out the jungle hiking trails of northern Peru, as well as its capital, Lima, home to a thriving nightlife and food scene.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Thanks to the legality of casino gambling, Atlantic City has long been a popular East Coast spot for obvious reasons, but there’s a lot more fun to be had than just at the slots. Here you’ll find the nation’s oldest boardwalk, stretching 4 miles and offering tons to do. Hire a guide to take you along the boardwalk in an old-fashioned chair to the hotels, resorts, shops and casinos, and explore the many attractions located on several piers off of it. Check out live shows at the Atlantic City Arts Center, marvel at marine life at the Atlantic City Aquarium, or head to the Steel Pier to have some fun at the local amusement park. You can also climb the 228 steps of the Absecon Lighthouse for a stunning view of the ocean itself.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
This beautiful beach town with a population of only around 1,700 people sees more than 750,000 visitors every year. An affordable destination located on the coast of Oregon, it’s home to the 235-foot-tall Haystack Rock, the third largest monolith in the world and a famous feature of its shore. Come during low tide, and you’ll find starfish and other marine life living near the base of the rock. Head into town to check out the charming little shops or over to Ecole State Park for even more natural beauty, as well as some great hiking and camping opportunities.
If you’re missing winter, you can head to Canada’s top ski destination and one of the largest ski resorts in North America, Whistler. Located on Whistler Mountain, this ski resort is a great place for snowboarding, ski jumping, tobagganing, and snowshoeing as well as skiing, even in the springtime. There’s more than just skiing at Whistler, however; you can also explore the area with activities such as hiking trails surrounded by snow walls, riding their Peak 2 Peak Gondola, axe-throwing, and enjoying the local day spas and delicious food.
Located in southern Maine, Kennebunkport’s trademark slogan is “the place to be all year.” However, spring is probably the best time to come, as you’ll have both warm weather and fewer crowds so you can properly enjoy this beautiful vacation spot. Check out one of multiple beaches for a swim and some sunshine, and visit the Franciscan monastery, open year-round with well-maintained grounds and a great view of the harbor.
Savannah, Georgia, is one of the few big cities in the South that has its antebellum architecture intact, thanks to the immediate surrender of its mayor to General Sherman in the Civil War. As a result, this utterly romantic city has some gorgeous architecture for you to enjoy alongside its natural beauty, present in its many parks. Check out Forsyth Park, home to some of the city’s best entertainment, shopping, and dining, and find loads of history throughout its multiple historic squares.
Cape May, New Jersey
Located on the southernmost tip of New Jersey, Cape May was declared a national landmark in 1976. The prettiest town in the state, it’s known for its beach and Victorian architecture. Visit the iconic lighthouse, where you can climb 199 steps for a breathtaking view of the town and shore. In addition to swimming and playing in the sand and sun, you can also enjoy the water by Jet Skiing, kayaking, surfing, parasailing, or fishing, and dinner cruises often take off from port too.
Napa Valley, California
The premier winemaking region of the United States, California’s Napa Valley is a wonderful destination for any wine lover, as well as anyone who appreciates a nice, gorgeous countryside. Take one of many wine tours here at picturesque wineries, enjoy the natural scenery with a camping or fishing trip, or visit a local park or farm.
Jamaica is a gorgeous Caribbean destination that should be toward the top of your island bucket list. Famous for its resort hotels, vibrant music scene, and wonderful beaches, Jamaica is also home to delicious street food and adventures such as whitewater rafting, kite surfing, and cliff jumping.
Santa Catalina Island, California
Also known as just Catalina Island, this group of American islands is technically a part of Los Angeles County, although it’s located 22 miles off the coast of Southern California. A stunning destination, it’s a great spot for scuba diving or snorkeling. Explore under the sea with a glass-bottom boat or semi-submarine ride If that’s too much for you, or take a tour of the history and wildlife on land by taking a zip line eco-tour.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Summer is the high season for Myrtle Beach, but if you come during spring, you’ll find moderate temperatures and calmer beaches. A family-friendly beach destination, Myrtle Beach is also home to many variety shows and concerts, as well as more miniature golf courses per square mile than anywhere else on Earth. Hit up Broadway at the Beach, an entertainment complex filled with bars, restaurants, shops, a movie theater, and an aquarium.
Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida, is officially the southernmost point in the United States, and you can drive there from Key Largo by taking the 110-mile Overseas Highway — a stunning road trip in itself. Key West’s beaches aren’t the best you can find in Florida, but the area has a great party atmosphere, with drinking and sunning opportunities available all year round. The weather and scenery here are absolutely gorgeous, and the island has quite a bit of interesting history, making it a destination you definitely have to see in your lifetime.
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